Have you given serious thought to getting a dog treadmill?
Perhaps you should.
Whilst everyone would love to give their canine companion endless exercise in glorious sunshine, reality has other ideas.
Quick look: Top 6 Best Treadmills For Dogs in 2018
Extreme temperatures, rain, or lack of time can lead to doggy boredom which results in bad behavior such as destructiveness or antisocial barking.
Or perhaps you have an energetic dog that doesn’t get on with other dogs, and you end up taking him for walks in the small hours of the morning when everyone else is safely tucked up in bed.
Or maybe your dog is recovering from surgery or suffers from arthritis and you need a gentle exercise regime that is tightly controlled.
All of these are good reasons why treadmills for dogs are the ideal solution to your four-leggers exercise issues.
If you’re dipping your toe in the water and thinking of getting your first treadmill for dogs then the DogPacer could be what you’re looking for.
It features a 1.5 horsepower motor with the belt running at speeds between 0.5 – 7.5 MPH.
The incline can be set up to nine degrees for a more intense training effect, with the DogPacer is marketed for dogs weighing up to 120 lb.
There is a one-year guarantee on all parts with a three-year guarantee on the frame itself.
As the least expensive of the models considered here, the DogPacer has some great features.
These include removable side panels which keep the dog facing forwards so he doesn’t step off the treadmill.
Also, the folding, space-saving design for easy storage makes it a good option for those living in an apartment.
It should also be noted that, in common with more basic models, to adjust the belt incline the program must be halted and the dog removed from the treadmill.
Slightly more expensive than the Domestic Pet DogPacer, the K9 Fitness Kit is made specifically for smaller dogs up to 30lb.
It has a robust design, claiming it is easy to set up in just five minutes.
Indeed, the manufacturer describes this as a ‘portable’ dog treadmill which can easily be taken for storage or transport purposes.
And if you’re worried about how to go about exercising your smaller dog on a treadmill, the product is supplied with a helpful training DVD.
The main advantages of the K9 Fitness Kit include it is relatively small for ease of storage. It also has a whisper quiet motor.
This is an important feature because some dogs are easily spooked by a noisy motor and refuse to use a treadmill period.
It’s also possible to adjust the incline of the belt, thus working different muscle groups depending on the angle.
For example, to strengthen the hindquarters the owner would adjust the flip bar inclines to increase the demands of the workout.
The combination of ease of set up plus sturdy design make this appear to be a best dog treadmill for small dogs.
However, just a word of caution at this point because the K9 Fitness Kit is a new product and has yet has still to be reviewed by users.
Will you be the first?
The GoPet PR700 is suitable for small dogs up to 44lbs.
In common with the DogPacer dog treadmill, this model also has a folding design.
It operates at speeds between 0.4 – 7.4 MPH and boasts a ‘silent’ driving system so the motor noise shouldn’t be a problem for even the most sensitive of dogs.
The GoPet PR700 is possibly the best treadmill for dogs that lack confidence or agility because it has a low ride height.
This means it’s super easy for a small dog to step onto the belt and exercise without feeling anxious about being raised up off the ground.
This model also comes with features associated with the most expensive top end machines, such as a dog chain holder, remote or manual control, a speed and timer control, plus an emergency stop button.
It is described by the manufacturer as one of a range of “professional dog treadmills”.
But what if you own a much larger dog, is the world of treadmills closed to you? Absolutely not!
GoPet offer the PR370 which is suitable for heavyweights up to 265lb. But why not just use a human treadmill, you ask?
The answer is that human treadmills are too short for a large dog’s stride length with the result that their back end fall off the back of the belt.
The GoPet PR has this taken care of because with a longer belt measuring 98 inches long, making it suitable for dogs up to 59 inches long.
This machine is anything but portable, being physically large out of necessity to suit giant dogs.
However, if you own a truly big dog then presumably you aren’t too concerned about space!
One major disadvantage of the GoPet PR370 is the price tag.
Along with the ability to exercise whopping sized dogs, it comes with a whopping sized price tag.
So if money is no object this is a great option, for those on a budget not so much.
Sitting in the middle of the price range is the Pet Zen dog treadmill.
This is the most flexible in terms of speed with an infinite range of speed options between 0 – 7 mph.
This makes it ideal for an elderly arthritic dog that you are introducing to exercise gently. In addition, the system can cope with dogs from the smallest toy breed up those weighing 150lb.
In common with other top end dog treadmills this has a feeder bowl to keep the dog’s interest, is programmable, has a safety stop button, an adjustable incline, and a whisper-quiet motor.
The other great feature of the Pet Zen dog treadmill is that it can be stored on its nose or its side.
With a low profile design this makes it easier to store discretely in an out of the way corner.
Last but certainly not least is the Go Pet treadwheel for large dogs. Also available for smaller dogs or cats, this model is subtly different to the other products.
Its design means it is suitable for outdoor use (all other models are indoors only) and it is powered by the pet rather than a motor.
The idea is the dog learns to get inside the wheel and then walks or runs as the mood takes him.
This means the self-motivated dog can use the treadwheel when the owner is out, and exercise himself to his heart’s content.
The Go Pet Treadwheel divides opinion.
In addition, it should be noted that it may not be suitable for dogs with a bad back.
So there we have it, from the high energy self-motivated dog to the dog that doesn’t get on with others, a dog treadmill is well worth considering.
These products are designed with the canine anatomy in mind for a cushioned ride on a belt long enough to cope with a four-legger’s stride length.
A dog treadmill may not be cheap, but it’s more economic than the destruction caused by a bored dog with energy to burn!
Dr Sarah Robinson attended veterinary school at Oklahoma State University receiving a D.V.M. in 2008. Sarah’s longtime interest is to help people to better communicate with their pet companions, and in doing so, to help them to strengthen their relationships with their dogs and cats. Sarah has published numerous articles on canine feeding in pet related magazines, veterinary journals and leading natural health web sites.